Monday, January 19, 2009

Yankees Defense Should Be Better in '09

According to Fangraphs' UZR, via RLYW, the Yankees project to be seven runs above average defensively this year, a 46 run (or roughly 4 and a half win) upgrade over last year's team. Let's break this down a little. While Fangraphs expects slight regressions from Jeter, A-Rod, and Damon, the major improvements come from the departures of Bobby Abreu (-25.2 UZR last year) and Jason Giambi. While Giambi's -1.8 UZR last year is not horrible, he is replaced with Mark Teixeira's projected +3, which is a half-win upgrade in itself. Abreu's awful mark will be replaced mainly by Xavier Nady, but SG has Nick Swisher seeing some time in right as well. Nady projects to be -1, and Swisher +3. While a +7 team mark is encouraging, I don't think it will be that high. My reasoning for this is that I think SG gave Melky and Brett Gardner too much time in center for his projections. He has Nick Swisher playing just 242 innings in center, and Johnny Damon not playing any. I think that barring any moves, that pair will get at least half the innings in center. However, even with that scenario, the Yankees should still be greatly improved defensively in 2009.

4 comments:

Bob Ruffolo said...

The key is going to be what type of Robinson Cano we see this year.

Nate said...

I agree, and I think it will be closer to 2007 Cano than to 2008 Cano.

Yankees Guy said...

I hate to think your crazy but your crazy. Damon and Swisher will only spend time in CF if injury causes it to be a necessity. Why would they play either of them their when you have Melky/Brett. Mark my words Brett will win the Job and Melky will come off the bench

Nate said...

They would play those two in center because Melky and Brett can't hit.